About the Ontario Arts Foundation


Charlotte Dean

Set and Costume Designer

Virginia and Myrtle Cooper Award in Costume Design

2009 Recipient

" Receiving this award allowed me to travel without any attachments to deadlines or projects.  I was able to see things in a different light...it was a life changing trip on so many levels, and I don't know if I would have been able to do it without this award."


What are you currently doing?

Presently I am working on productions for Young People's Theatre (Seussical), and the Tarragon (the Realistic Joneses) as well as 'studio' work for Stratford (Treasure Island) and the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre (Bittergirl), upcoming in 2017.  

What did receiving the Virginia and Myrtle Cooper Award in Costume Design mean to you? 

Receiving the Virginia and Myrtle Cooper Award in Costume Design meant so much to me, coming at the time that it did, and it affording me to travel without it being attached to deadlines, or a specific project.  I can't really describe the freedom of wandering through London towards a day at the Victoria and Albert, and an evening in the West End (Warhorse was the show...).   And then fast forwarding to the India section of the adventure (as it can only be called that!)---in a hair raising tuk-tuk journey from a heritage enclave in Ahmedabad in Gujurat where I was staying, to the Calico Museum, which was in a walled palace, with garden grounds populated by peacocks. And the absolute joy of seeing things in such a different light, seeing the trims of saris flashing by off the backs of motorbike riders in the dimly lit night roadways, understanding certain cultural things that we see in North America in a certain way, and understanding more about their root origins. It was a life changing trip on so many levels.  And I don't know if I would have taken either trip without this award. 

What does private arts philanthropy mean to you as a working artist?

Private arts philanthropy has the ability to change a life. Perhaps this sounds a bit drastic, but even now writing this it is inspiring me, motivating me, all those things that you need as an artist to answer the questions of 'why keep doing this' that might come at the end of a difficult day. 


Read more award recipient profiles here >> 



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